Zelda (SSBB)

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This article is about Zelda's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For the character in other contexts, see Princess Zelda.
in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Princess Zelda
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Alternate form Sheik
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in SSB4
Availability Starter
Final Smash Light Arrow
Tier F (37)
The queen of Hyrule. Her light moves belie devastating magical attacks.
Brawl manual description

Confirmed on the Smash Bros. DOJO!! website on June 25, 2007, Zelda (ゼルダ, Zelda) is a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The titular character of The Legend of Zelda universe, Zelda's model from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is reused in Brawl.

Having previously appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Zelda reappears in Brawl as a character utilizing strong magical attacks, but despite many of her attributes being strongly buffed, her tier position is far worse than in Melee at 37 out of 38 compared to 19 out of 26 in the earlier game. While Zelda possesses fast, powerful attacks, some of the most powerful aerials in Brawl, and a fast and powerful multihit up smash that is nearly impossible to SDI out of and covers the area around her, Zelda suffers from a combination of severe character build flaws. These flaws include a very inconvenient combination of attributes similar to Mewtwo (slow, light, tall, and floaty), her almost non-existent approach options, possessing a moveset that consists nearly entirely of unreliable finishers (which makes it difficult for her to KO despite her abundance of powerful attacks, and leaves her with one of the weakest comboing abilities, with her down tilt being her only move that can set up well), a very poor projectile that cannot force approaches, and her predictable and unreliable recovery (like Wolf, her primary recovery move suffers from major angular issues, though unlike Wolf, she does not have access to an alternate recovery move nor the air speed and jumping abilities to make it back without using a recovery move). This has left her with terrible tournament results and having terrible matchups against many higher tiered characters, ultimately clocking her in F Tier right above the worst spot (with Ganondorf being the only fighter ranked lower than her) - although the combination of her and her transformation, Sheik is higher at 24/38, placed in the D tier (though this is based on theory rather than actual practice).


Zelda is a floaty, lightweight character with poor momentum canceling (making her very easy to KO but difficult to chain throw) with strong, graceful attacks, usually augmented with magic. Many of her moves hit multiple times before causing knockback. This allows her to easily deal large damage to multiple targets, but it also means that these attacks can be DI'd out of fairly easily. She has very good defensive options, with her up and side smashes having fast start-up and multiple hitboxes, her down smash having almost no start-up lag, and locking opponents with her down tilt. She is can juggle at lower percentages thanks to her up smash's fast, multiple hitboxes. Her directional aerials are single, powerful blows that cause a lot of damage and knockback if landed properly, but her attacks are extremely weak and have low stun when sourspotted. Many of her moves make powerful finishers, including her smash attacks, her up tilt, and aerials. Her strong defense is counterbalanced by her generally poor mobility (very slow dash speed and low aerial speed). Her grab is long ranged, but very slow (especially for a non-tether grab) making it hard to land without set ups, and it cannot be used out of shield in most cases like a normal grab. Zelda can be described as a glass cannon: she can pump out a lot of damage if the opponent approaches her, but she will not survive long once she starts getting hit.

Her special attacks are also assets to Zelda, granting her a projectile, reflector, a teleport with large range and the ability to transform into her alter ego, Sheik. Din's Fire is long ranged, has a large hitbox when and deals much damage when fully charges, KOs at high percents, cannot properly be reflected, can be controlled, and be used for edgeguarding. However, it is extremely predictable and avoidable against skilled players (easy to spot dodge or air dodge), being impossible to camp with against most characters (with very few exceptions, like the Ice Climbers). Nayru's Love is a decent duration reflector attack and spacing tool but suffers from high ending lag. Despite her defensive game, it is easy to force her to play offensively and she has terrible approach options, because of her poor approach aerials and very slow dash speed and grab. As mentioned before, she cannot camp with her Din's Fire either. This means despite her defensive game, she gets very few chances to use it and instead is forced to play with her horrible offensive game due to her very limited approach. Farore's Wind is a long distance recovery/attack, but her linear recovery is below average (falls almost straight down after it, and she has a small ledge sweetspot range) among cast members because of its low reliability as it's also easy to hit her before she disappears due to its slow start-up.

In the end, Zelda relies on her strong defensive game and potential power to overcome her weaknesses, which is usually hard to do. Zelda is a character that has hard time to approach her opponents, but once she does, she can be a devastating character. Transform can also shore up some of Zelda's weaknesses by turning into Sheik, and vice-versa.

Changes from Melee to Brawl[edit]

Zelda has been given major buffs from Melee to Brawl, but her flaws from Melee remain and are exacerbated by the physics changes. Thus, she has been severely nerfed overall.


  • Notice.png Zelda's design is now based on her appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
  • Notice.png Zelda now has a new running animation.
  • Notice.png Zelda has a new tumbling animation.
  • Notice.png Zelda has three new taunts.


  • Buff.png Zelda walks faster (0.7 → 0.8).
  • Buff.png Zelda dashes faster (1.1 → 1.224).
  • Buff.png Zelda has slightly faster air speed (0.95 → 0.987).
  • Notice.png Zelda falls slower (1.4 → 1.13).

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff.png Neutral attack deals slightly more damage.
  • Buff.png Up tilt has strengthened.
  • Buff.png Up smash has less hitlag, making it harder to escape from.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff.png Neutral aerial can no longer be SDI'd out of and the hits connect better.
  • Nerf.png Neutral air deals slightly less damage.
  • Buff.png Up aerial has increased knockback, making it easier to KO with. It also deals 2% more damage.
  • Nerf.png Up aerial has a smaller hitbox.
  • Buff.png Sweetspotted forward and back aerials are stronger.
  • Nerf.png Sourspotted forward and back aerials are significantly weaker and deal drastically less damage. The sweetspots now last for only 1 frame as opposed to 4 in Melee and the hitbox's size being around a third of the size from Melee.
  • Buff.png Down aerial has gained a sweetspot similar to that of her forward and back aerials, which powerfully meteor smashes foes. However, it cannot land on a grounded opponent.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Buff.png Grab speed have been slightly increased.
  • Nerf.png Down throw has slightly higher base knockback, lessening its already poor combo ability.
  • Buff.png Down throw deals 1% more damage.
  • Nerf.png Due to the slower falling speeds of Brawl, up throw can no longer chaingrab fastfallers.

Special moves[edit]

  • Buff.png Nayru's Love has slightly increased reflect duration and activates faster.
  • Buff.png The power of Din's Fire now increases as it travels further, detonates quicker, deals more damage, has less lag, deals more knockback, and is faster to use. If Zelda is hit during the move, the fireball will travel the full distance as if it were fully charged and explode at the end of its path.
  • Buff.png Farore's Wind has an explosive hitbox when Zelda reappears, making it a safer move to use on stage.
  • Nerf.png Farore's Wind travels slightly less distance and has longer start-up lag.
  • Nerf.png Transform takes much longer to complete as a result of Sheik's model having to be loaded from the disc rather than having it loaded at all times as in Melee. This allows the opponent to set up a punish on Zelda for simply performing the move, and makes Transforming into Sheik (or vice versa) for recovery purposes impossible.


For a more detailed information regarding Zelda's moveset and attack hitboxes, see this page.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2% (hits 1-3) Zelda sticks her hand out in front of herself and shoots small magical sparks, pushing foes slightly back. Disjointed with decent range.
Forward tilt   13% (hand), 12% (arm), 11% (body) Zelda steps forward and slashes one arm in front of her, with a trail of sparkles. The attack has moderate knockback. The tip of the attack hits backwards, while the base hits forwards. Can be angled.
Up tilt   11% Zelda waves her arm above her head in an arc with a boost of magic power. This move has very high vertical knockback, and makes an excellent finisher.
Down tilt   7% (foot), 8% (leg) Zelda crouches and kicks her foot in front of her, hitting opponents low. The tip of her foot meteor smashes grounded opponents and launches airborne opponents upwards.
Dash attack   12% (clean body), 9% (clean hands), 8% (late body), 7% (late hands) Zelda shoves her arms in front of her and pushes foes in front of her away with a boost of magic power. Any foes caught in the sweetspot of the move will electrocuted and knocked upwards.
Forward smash   1% (hits 1-4), 13% (hit 5) Zelda charges magic energy in her right hand and flashes it in front of herself, hitting opponents multiple times before knocking them away. Can pressure shields and deals decent knockback.
Up smash   1% (hits 1-10), 5% (hit 11) Zelda charges magic energy in her left hand and waves it above her head twice, hitting opponents multiple times before knocking them away. At low percentages, especially against heavy characters, this can combo several times with itself, and is also easily followed by an up tilt.
Down smash   12% (hit 1), 10% (hit 2) Zelda quickly kicks on both sides of herself, knocking opponents away. This smash comes out very quickly, and powerfully knocks almost entirely horizontally. The leg Zelda strikes with is intangible.
Neutral aerial   2% (hits 1-4), 5% (hit 5) Zelda spins in place, slowly trailing sparkles from her hands. Useful for catching opponents in combo's.
Forward aerial Lightning Kick 20% (clean foot), 4% (clean leg, late) Zelda quickly kicks in front of herself, dealing great damage and knockback if the opponent is hit at the beginning of the move and just the tip of her boot. Otherwise, the opponent is hit with low damage and knockback.
Back aerial Lightning Kick 20% (clean foot), 4% (clean leg, late) Identical to Zelda's forward aerial, except the opposite direction and faster, dealing slightly higher knockback than the forward Lightning Kick.
Up aerial   15% Zelda brings her arm above her head and releases a fiery explosion above her head, dealing great knockback. Requires precise timing to KO.
Down aerial   16% (clean), 5% (late leg), 4% (late foot) Zelda stomps her foot below herself, meteoring opponents caught below her waist. The initial hitbox deals a powerful meteor, whereas later hitboxes hit opponents with less force, albeit still a meteor.
Grab   Zelda restrains her opponent in front of her with magical energy.
Pummel   3% Zelda waves her arms quickly in front of her victim, dealing small magic damage.
Forward throw   12% Zelda spins her opponent in front of her and throws her opponent away. Deals a good amount of damage.
Back throw   11% Zelda spins her opponent, circles them around herself and throws them behind herself. Deals good damage.
Up throw   11% Zelda forces her opponent above her and throws them upward. Can be followed up with a Nair or Uair if timed well enough.
Down throw   2% (hits 1-4), 2% (throw) Zelda forces her opponent under her and shoots fire from her hands at them, before knocking them behind herself.
Floor attack (front)   6% (hit 1), 8% (hit 2 leg), 6% (hit 2 body) Zelda performs a spin kick as she gets up. Notable for having unusually high damage on the second hit.
Floor attack (back)   6% Essentially the same as the front floor attack.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Zelda performs a sweep kick from the sitting position.
Edge attack (fast)   6% Zelda climbs up and swings her legs in a circular motion, while pulling herself up.
Edge attack (slow)   10% (arm), 8% (body) Zelda raises up slowly, and after a short pause, smacks the enemy with the back of her hand.
Neutral special Nayru's Love 1-2 (hits 1-5), 3-5% (hit 6) A crystal forms that reflects projectiles, followed by the shards spinning around and slicing nearby opponents.
Side special Din's Fire 8-16% Launches a controllable fireball that charges as it travels until it explodes. Can be directed up or down with the control stick.
Up special Farore's Wind 6% Teleports in a given direction, dealing damage at both ends.
Down special Transform 0% Transforms into Sheik.
Final Smash Light Arrow 3% (hit 1), 39% (Light Arrow 1st opponent), 29% (2nd opponent), 21% (3rd opponent) Zelda pulls out a large magical bow and light arrow which she fires in a straight, horizontal line across the stage. It can strike multiple opponents, but the damage decreases for each successive target. Launches opponents at a 45° angle.


  • Up Taunt: Jabs her arm upwards, creating sparkles above her palm.
  • Side Taunt: Claps her hands. When she does, a ball of fire appears between her hands, a remodel of one of her victory poses from Melee.
  • Down Taunt: Leans forward and waves.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Teleports in with magic in her hands.

Idle poses[edit]

  • Flips her hair back.
  • Turns her body away.
  • Makes a thinking gesture.


Zelda's NTSC and PAL cheer


Wii Remote selection sound[edit]

Zelda's Wii Remote selection sound

The Transform sound effect is heard and Zelda shouts. Shared with Sheik.

Victory theme[edit]

This flourish is a cover of the music that played whenever Link obtained a Triforce Piece in The Legend of Zelda. It is shared with Link, Sheik, Ganondorf, and Toon Link.

Victory poses[edit]

  • Turns her head to the left, making an elegant stance.
  • Praying, she turns her head upward.
  • Conjures bright red magical energy.

In competitive play[edit]


Zelda has one of the weakest matchup spreads in the game. She counters one character, Ganondorf, has four even matchups, soft countered by eight characters, countered by fourteen characters, hard countered by seven characters and has two nearly unwinnable matchups.

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Zelda professionals (SSBB)

Tier placement and history[edit]

Zelda was initially seen as a solid middle tier character, being ranked 20th on the first tier list; her significant buffs in Brawl made her a very powerful character that was able to compete decently with the then inexperienced playerbase, who did not utilise much camping and were not as capable of evading attacks. As the metagame progressed however, it became realised Zelda's buffs did little to address the very significant problems of her character design; Din's Fire was still an ineffective projectile that could not force approaches while Zelda herself was still very slow and incapable of initiating approaches, and her moveset still consisted of unreliable finishers that made it very difficult for her to rack up damage as well as reliably KO when the opponent is in KO range. As Brawl became more defensive based and camping became more prevalent, Zelda's problems were significantly exasperated, and it gradually became clearer that Zelda was a poorly-designed character that could not remotely viably compete.

Zelda's decline started slowly, with her only falling two places on the second tier list. But it picked up on the third tier list with her falling four places, and then she took a nose dive on the fourth tier list to 35th in bottom tier as the third worst character. She fell even farther to being ranked the second worst character on the fifth tier list, and has been stuck there since, which is also the largest tier drop any character experienced in Brawl. Nowadays Zelda's position is just as low, and there are some players who even think that Zelda is the worst character in Brawl and not Ganondorf (similar to the disagreement between both Pichu and Kirby's placements on Melee's tier list). While Zelda does have a few players dedicated to using her, her overall playerbase is very small and makes virtually no impact, so it is unlikely Zelda's competitive prospects will ever improve in Brawl.

While Zelda performs poorly in Brawl singles, she performs a bit better in doubles, where her significant flaws are less exploitable, and her strengths are a bit more advantageous. Riot, for example, routinely places well in doubles events in his region, while he usually performs mediocre in singles, if he enters singles at all.

Role in The Subspace Emissary[edit]

In the Subspace Emissary single-player mode, Zelda and Peach have two different storylines, depending on which one is saved from Petey Piranha.

Zelda and Peach in the Subspace Emissary.

At the start, she and Peach are watching a friendly match between Mario and Kirby. After the Halberd appears, she and Peach rush from offstage after the stadium is attacked by the Primid. The player can choose out of the four to fight off the Primids. When the Ancient Minister appears and drops a Subspace bomb, Mario is blasted away by a cannonball when he tries to stop it. Zelda and Peach are captured by Petey Piranha. The player, as Kirby, must save either Peach or Zelda by destroying one of their cages.

Storyline 1[edit]

If Zelda is saved, she joins Kirby as they both escape from the stadium on a Warp Star. They are pursued by the Halberd, and land on top of it. Soon they fall off and reach the ground, fighting along through hordes of Subspace foes. Later on, Kirby leaves Zelda behind, and Bowser appears from the sky and turns her into a trophy.

The Shadow Bugs (which came along with Bowser) make a clone of Zelda that proceeds to ambush Link and Yoshi with a Dark Cannon. However, Pit destroys the Dark Cannon and he and Mario fight and defeat her. When the clone is defeated, Link witnesses her trophy disintegrating into Shadow Bugs and, believing it was the real Zelda, proceeds to attack both Mario and Pit with Yoshi’s help. Mario and Pit defeat them and turn them into trophies and then Link and Yoshi fall into a state of unconsciousness as trophies.

Storyline 2[edit]

If Zelda was not saved, Wario appears whilst she is trapped under her wrecked cage. He blasts her with a Dark Cannon and turns her into a trophy, before fleeing the stadium with her. She is later captured by King Dedede when he ambushes Wario and steals his Cargo along with Ness. As he passes Link and company, Link spots her on the back of the Cargo, and Pit shoots the Cargo, slowing it down so that they can pursue Dedede.

Dedede puts his own Dedede brooch on her, but when Bowser attacks his castle, he finds her trophy and takes it. However, he is pursued by Mario and Pit, and when Pit fires an arrow at Bowser, the Dedede brooch falls off and is found by Kirby. Bowser escapes in the Koopa Clown Car and takes her trophy up to the waiting Halberd.


After this point, the storylines are the same regardless of who was rescued.

At a later part of the story, Zelda and Peach are discovered by Lucario, Meta Knight, and Snake in cages aboard the Battleship Halberd, stuck in their trophy form. Shadowbugs of the princesses then fight the trio. After being freed, Snake tells both Zelda and Peach to stay in the room that they were being held captive in. Zelda transforms into Sheik, and both she and Peach make their way to the deck of the Halberd, against Snake's orders.

When Fox attacks the Halberd against and nearly hits Peach by accident, Sheik uses Vanish to appear on top of Fox's Arwing. She then breaks the cockpit and Fox ejects, and they both fall to the Halberd. Just as they begin to fight, Peach holds up a hand and yells, "Hi!" Both Fox and Sheik look over, and find Peach has just offered them both tea. Fox, looking confused, looks to Sheik, to find she has already begun to drink. Fox accepts the tea and they do not fight again.

Zelda/Sheik helps Peach, Fox, Lucario, Snake and Falco defeat Duon. She is on the Halberd when Meta Knight lands it and meets up with the two other groups. Sometime between the Halberd's retaking and before the Subspace Bomb detonation at the Isle of Ancients, she returns to Zelda's appearance.

During the fight against Tabuu, Zelda (along with all the other characters) gets turned into a trophy. If she is revived, she, along with Link, revives Ganondorf and points out what happened. She then aids the heroes in defeating Tabuu at the end of the story.

Playable Appearances[edit]

If Zelda is rescued in Midair Stadium, after The Lake Shore is completed, she will be removed from the team until Battleship Halberd Exterior.

Trophy form[edit]

Zelda, like Luigi, doesn't have the trophy form pose of her collectable trophy. She instead has her arm in front of her rather than behind, as in her down taunt.

Exclusive Stickers[edit]

The following stickers can either only be used by Zelda or by a small set of characters which includes her:

  • Acro: [Magic] attack +15
  • Ashley: [Magic] attack +22
  • Boomerang: [Weapon] attack +4
  • Bow: [Magic] attack +8
  • Colin: [Specials: Direct] attack +4
  • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule: [Electric] attack +31
  • Dark Samus: [Electric] attack +31
  • Darknut: [Slash] attack +13
  • Epona & Link: [Arm, Leg] attack +9
  • Fierce Deity Link: [Slash] attack +21
  • Girl [Animal Crossing]: [Magic] attack +21
  • Girl [Magical Vacation]: [Magic] attack +19
  • Happy Mask Salesman: [Leg] attack +9
  • Hylian Shield: [Slash] resistance +10
  • Kamek: [Magic] attack +11
  • Kyorusuke: [Magic] attack +8
  • Lantern: [Flame] resistance +7
  • Legend of Outset: [Arm] attack +26
  • Linebeck: [Throwing] attack +20
  • Link [Link to the Past]: [Electric] resistance +31
  • Link [Twilight Princess]: [Slash] resistance +27
  • Link [Wind Waker]: [Flame] attack +31
  • Link with Goron Mask: [Slash] attack +17
  • Link's Grandma: [Arm, Leg] attack +2
  • Lon Lon Milk: Launch power +18
  • Midna & Wolf Link: [Leg] attack +26
  • Moblin: [Slash] attack +15
  • Moon Fairy Seren: [Magic] attack +16
  • Myrrh: [Magic] attack +15
  • Naomi Hunter: [Leg] attack +5
  • Octorok: [Leg] attack +4
  • Peach & Daisy: [Leg] attack +27
  • Piece of Heart: Heart Container effect +50
  • Pinkle: [Magic] attack +15
  • Salvatore: [Electric] attack +9
  • Shahra: [Leg] attack +7
  • Sheik: [Body, Spin] attack +17
  • The Great Fairy: [Magic] attack +21
  • Tingle [Wind Waker]: [Flame] resistance +24
  • Toadette: [Magic] attack +7
  • Young Zelda [Minish Cap]: [Battering] resistance +16
  • Zelda [Link to the Past]: [Magic] attack +27
  • Zelda [Ocarina of Time]: [Flame] resistance +18

In Event Matches[edit]

Solo Events[edit]

Co-op Events[edit]


Zelda's main and Final Smash trophies can be obtained by clearing Classic Mode and All-Star mode respectively with Zelda.

Trophy descriptions[edit]

The princess of Hyrule. In other games, her role changes between titles. In Ocarina of Time, she was hunted by the would-be conqueror, Ganondorf. She deceived him, however, by adopting the persona of Sheik. In Twilight Princess, she surrendered to Zant and was held as his prisoner.
NES: The Legend of Zelda
Wii: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Light Arrow (Zelda)
Princess Zelda's Final Smash. She wields a mighty bow of light with which she can attack from afar. Her arrow travels in a straight line and flies through all characters unlucky enough to be in the way. This attack cannot be blocked. The more enemies there are, the higher the chances to get them all with one shot. More is always better!
Wii: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Alternate costumes[edit]

Zelda's alternative costumes in Brawl


  • In the Super Smash Bros. Brawl manual, Zelda is referred to as a "queen" even though she is commonly referred to as "princess". This is because her Brawl appearance is based on the Zelda of Twilight Princess, who is queen de facto, but does not officially bear the title as her coronation was prevented by the events of the game.
  • Three of Zelda's special moves - Din's Fire, Farore's Wind & Nayru's Love - are based on spells used by Link in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • Though Zelda's recovery goes farther than Sheik's, Sheik can actually go higher vertically from the ground.
  • The amount of transformation lag can be shortened by pausing the game during the transformation; doing this, however, causes a replay of the match to lag at the point of where the player transformed.
  • Zelda's taunt in Melee appears as one of her victory poses in Brawl.
  • Unlike in Melee, where completing Classic mode with either Zelda or Sheik would get both Zelda and Sheik trophies, Brawl makes one play both characters separately at the end to retrieve their trophies.
  • During Zelda's down smash animation, there is a small rendering error where her arm twists the wrong way near the end of it. It only lasts for about one frame, however, and is nearly impossible to see in a normal match; in Training mode, where the player can set the game's speed at 1/4 and zoom in, the error "blinks" shortly.
  • Pikachu, Zelda, and Snake are the only characters in the game where all three of their taunts temporarily make a held item disappear.

External links[edit]